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Church Revitalization: How & Where to Start

church revitalization

To expect different results, you need to do ministry differently.

God put a passion in my heart for helping organizations get unstuck.

Even from the early days, I’ve had a passion to help churches, specifically existing churches, to get healthy. All of my previous experience—my city manager days, included—has been working with communities and churches to help rebuild what is suffering and declining. I started The Unstuck Group because of this.

I wanted to help leaders and churches find clarity and perspective that resulted in their ability to lead more people to Jesus. We’re 10 years in, and I’m still excited about what God is doing through The Unstuck Group. And, I’m re-energized by our most recent update to the process we use.

Most churches that contact us are on the right side of the life cycle—that is they’re experiencing plateau, decline, and asking a question that I don’t like to hear—

“How do we get unstuck as quickly as possible?”

Understandably, stuck churches want to get unstuck quickly. Honestly, I would be concerned if there was little urgency and excitement to fix what’s broken. But, the results are compromised when the emphasis is on the speed rather than the quality of the approach.

To revitalize your church takes a significant investment—time, energy, resources and laser-focus.

I encourage you to start by answering these 3 key questions:

1. “Why do we exist as a church?”

2. “Where are we going?”

3. “How do we get there?”

When you sit down with your team to answer these questions, it’s vital to not just prayerfully answer them, but to do so in order.

Stuck churches jump to how to do the ministry, discipleship, weekend services, etc., instead of focusing on why we do those things.

If you’ve done the hard work of answering the first two questions, you have to answer the how.

It might sound obvious, but if you want to see change, how you do church in the future has to be different than what you’re doing today. That’s one of the most common things we see—stuck churches continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

Is your church in need of revitalization? It’s no small task. But if I had to suggest a path for getting started, I’d recommend tackling these four things:

1. Turn the Focus From Inward to Outward

One of the key factors that we find in stuck churches is that they are inwardly focused. It’s the natural pull.